Linux Foundation Releases Beta of Porting Solution

The Linux Foundation releases the first public beta of Linux Standard Base 4.0, which reduces the differences between various Linux distributions for developers. LSB 4.0 features a new application checker, a new shell script checker and a new multiversion software development kit.

The Linux Foundation has released the first public beta of its solution to enable developers to more easily build applications that run on different Linux distributions.

The foundation on Oct. 14 announced the availability of the first beta of LSB (Linux Standard Base) 4.0, which introduces a new application checker, a new shell script checker and a new multiversion SDK (software development kit) that will enable developers to build applications to earlier LSB specifications without changing SDKs, said Brian Proffitt, community manager for the Linux Foundation.

According to Proffitt, the Linux Foundation created the LSB to address the challenges of multiple-distribution development and lower the overall costs of supporting the Linux platform. The LSB reduces the differences between various Linux distributions, thereby reducing the costs involved with porting applications to different distributions, and lowers the cost and effort involved in aftermarket support of those applications.

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Moreover, the LSB enables ISVs to cost-effectively target the Linux platform by reducing the ISVs' porting, support and testing costs, while helping them address a global market for their applications, Proffitt said.

"This LSB 4.0 release is aimed at the practical needs of developers, both those looking for a standard platform and those who just want some practical advice on portability," said Jeff Licquia, senior engineer and technical lead for LSB 4.0 at the Linux Foundation.

"We have a new set of LSB tools to make it much easier for ISVs to develop applications that are LSB-compliant, and to test to see how portable their applications are via the Linux Application Checker," said Ted T'so, chief platform strategist and fellow at the Linux Foundation.

Other features of LSB 4.0 include the inclusion of the Mozilla Foundation's NSS (Network Security Services) and NSPR (Netscape Portable Runtime) as a cryptography solution in LSB 4.0. LSB 4.0 also features new distribution tests that cover more of the LSB standard, the foundation said.

The LSB 4.0 beta specification, test suite and developer tools are available now on the Linux Foundation Web site. The full release of LSB 4.0 will be available later this fall.

In other news, the Linux Foundation announced that its Free and Open Source Software governance workgroup, called FOSSBazaar, has nearly doubled its membership since launching in January. The newest members include Ars Aperta, Black Duck Software, BT Design, Krugle, Palamida and nexB, bringing the number of FOSSBazaar members to 15, foundation officials said.

Linux Foundation officials said FOSSBazaar was created as a Linux Foundation workgroup to share information and best practices for the adoption and management of open-source software by enterprises. The initiative was founded by Coverity, DLA Piper, Google, Hewlett-Packard, the Linux Foundation, Novell, Olliance Group, OpenLogic and SourceForge.